Sunday, March 30, 2008

Guest Blogger: Terry Spear

I am so excited to have author Terry Spear as guest blogger today. I have really enjoyed getting to know Terry and hope y'all will take this opportunity to get to know her better as well. If you would like to leave a comment or question for Terry, I'll be sure and pass them on.


How to Create Memorable Characters


Ever wonder what makes some books so special? Some movies? Is it the plot? Or the characters? Or a little of both? What if the story had no plot? Critics said that of Master and Commander. But the characterizations were great. What if you have a super plot, but don’t care anything for the stereotypical, wooden characters? Alien was that for me.

Yes, it’s important to have a plot, but it’s also important to have characters the reader can relate to, and sympathize with. What about the secondaries? They’re important too. But in what way? They showcase the main characters.

One of my favorite secondary characters was in Galaxy Quest. The guy, Guy, with no last name. He was always the guy who died in the Galaxy Quest series and because of this, he wasn’t important enough to have a last name. He was the comic relief. And he was great. Oftentimes a secondary can do dumb things and get away with it because they’re not the main character. The hero and heroine can’t. The ominous villain can’t. But the secondaries can.

Here’s a snippet of a scene to show characterization:

Mark sauntered into the bank and cast a sly smile at the pretty redheaded teller at the counter. She gave him a coy smile back and he was hooked.

His brother hurried to join him, saw the way he was targeting red, and punched him in the arm. “You know the trouble the last time you had over a redhead, Mark. Give it up, brother.” Charles shoved him in the direction of a gray-haired teller and before Mark could give ‘em heck, another customer headed for the red-haired siren.

“Jeez, Charlie, what’s up with you?”

“Just trying to save your ornery hide.”

Now in this exchange, we not only see something about Mark’s obsession with redheaded women, but his brother’s relationship, who reveals more about Mark’s problems with redheads. It’s not just that he likes redheads, but they’re trouble. So by adding a secondary character, we’ve showcased more about Mark’s character and added conflict. His reaction to his brother also reveals more about character.

In Heart of the Wolf, not only do the lupus garous have their human characteristics, but they also have wolf abilities--increased sense of smell, hearing, eyesight--based on real wolves in the wild. And as wolves, they have their human instincts, although sometimes their wolf half and human half war with one another—preservation of their species being tantamount.

Whether characterizations drive a story or plot does, creating memorable characters can really help to make the story real, vivid, and entertaining.

Heart of the Wolf~~~ “The characters are well drawn and believable, which makes the contemporary plotline of this story of love and life among the lupus garou seem, well, realistic.”—4 Stars, HOT, Romantic Times, Bunny Callahan

Terry Spear
Heart of the Wolf, Don’t Cry Wolf, Betrayal of the Wolf, Allure of the Wolf
3-D Characterization Online Workshop, http://www.terryspear.com/id14.html April 1-28!!

I'm Ba-a-a-a-a-a-a-a-ack

and I had a blast at conference! I'll be posting about it this week, but wanted everyone to know that tomorrow I will be having a special guest blogger. Please come back and visit with Terry Spear.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Off to Conference and Friday's Feast

Late, late, late this morning. I'm scurrying around like the proverbial chicken. Do you see the conference banner to your left? It won't be there come Monday because the conference is THIS WEEKEND. I am soooo excited. To be able to spend the weekend with a group of writers... people who understand when you say the people in your head won't do what you want them to do....is going to be heaven. My husband is very supportive, but sometimes when I go on and on, he gets a glazed look... poor fella.

Monday, we are having a wonderful author as a guest blogger. Please come back and read what Terry Spear has to say!

Anyway, I'm late with this too.....come and play along. Just click on the button.



Appetizer

What does the color dark green make you think of? A forest...not that I've ever been in a forest,but still...

Soup

How many cousins do you have? first cousins on my mother's side.. five. First cousins on my father's side... I'm not sure. Unfortunately, we lost contact with that side of the family for practical purposes when I was a child. I was in contact with one cousin on that side briefly.

Salad

On a scale of 1 to 10 with 10 being highest, how honest are you? probably a 9.5. I have been known to fudge a bit... to spare someone's feelings. But even then I try to find some way to "tell the truth creatively"

Main Course

Name something that is truly free. The content on The Long and the Short of It, sunshine, salvation

Dessert

Using the letters in the word SPRING, write a sentence. "Some people really inpired new growth." My writing friends, and you know who you are... they are included in this. Thanks, guys!

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Have A Blessed and Wonderful Easter



This is long, but I hope you will watch it. And have a blessed Easter.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Happy Saturday

Happy Saturday everyone. Today is history a lot of famous people were born and one who isn't famous, yet. Well, not to the general public. I'm famous enough in my own little circle. My friend and business partner Marianne gifted me with this:


Thanks, Marianne!

Now, a little bit about today:
from Wikipedia: March 22 is the 81st day of the year (82nd in leap years) in the Gregorian calendar. There are 284 days remaining until the end of the year.

Your Birthdate: March 22

You tend to be understated and under appreciated.
You have a hidden force to do amazing things, doing them your own way.
People may see you as strange and shy, but they know little.
Your unconventional ways have more power than they (and even you) know.

Your strength: Standing up for what you know is true

Your weakness: You tend to be picky and rigid

Your power color: Silver

Your power symbol: Square

Your power month: April


Hmmm.... "people see me as strange"...well, that's true enough, but "shy"? Anybody out there who sees me as shy, I'd like to hear about it! And.. "picky and rigid"? Uh.. nope. Sorry.

We aren't celebrating my birthday today in a traditional way. We're going to celebrate by taking down a tree and grinding some stumps :-) We have a ton of work to do and it's finally starting to dry out enough we can get some of it done! My birthday present is next week at conference. My first ever writers conference. It would be wonderful if I had some good news to share with them, but I'm not holding my breath. Instead, I'll spend time talking up LASR.

I hope everyone has a wonderful day.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Friday's Feast


Click on the button to play along.


Appetizer

Given the choice, would you prefer to live in the country or in the city? Definitely in the country... but close enough to the city I could get in for shows and things. We live more or less in the country now... but not country enough. This area is really growing fast. I miss the ability of going to a city for theater or a good selection of restaurants, but living in a city? Nope.. not this girl. chanel handbags

Soup

Who is the cutest kid you know? I know way too many cute kids. Jill has two great boys, Mary's girls crack me up, Lianne's kids are actually young ladies now, and "Marianne has one of the cutest and sweetest daughters in the world. So... I take the fifth on this.. at least until I have a grandchild ;-)

Salad

Fill in the blank: I couldn’t believe it when I heard the northeast was getting MORE snow.

Main Course

If you could star in a commercial for one of your favorite products, which one would you want to advertise? My favorite perfume, Inis, because that means I would be in Ireland. :-)

Dessert

What type(s) of vitamins and/or supplements do you take on a regular basis? I take a multi-vitamin, B Complex, and calcium.

~~~~~
Today in History:

March 21, 1946 - Timothy Dalton is born. Happy Birthday, Timothy!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Tuesday Musical Memories

I'm in a meme sort of mood..... so beware. If you want to play along, click the button.



Tuesday Tunes - Week 25

More word association, in the form of spring and Easter. That should scare you, but since I'm loopy on sinus meds, it shouldn't scare you too much!

Remember; post the first song/album/band/artist that comes to mind when you see the following 10 words:



God: "God is so Good" (Video #1)
Bunny: "Here Comes Peter Cottontail"(Video #2)
Flower: "Where Have All the Flowers Gone"/Peter, Paul, and Mary (Video #3)
Grass: "Wildwood Weed" (Video #4)
Musical: "Phantom of the Opera" (Video #5)
Gospel: "Godspell" (Video #6)
New: Newsong Just an aside. I knew this group when they first started. Eddie Carswell is originally from my hometown and I used to go to a local club to hear Eddie Middleton. (Video #7)
Color: "Tie a Yellow Ribbon" (don't throw things!)(Video #8)
Dress: "Devil with a Blue Dress" (Video #9)
Sunday:"Pleasant Valley Sunday" (Video #10)

Video #1


Video #2


Video #3


Video #4


Video #5


Video #6


Video #7


Video #8


Video #9


Video #10

Monday, March 17, 2008

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Happy St. Patrick's Day and the Top of the Mornin' to ye! I hope you are all enjoying a glorious day and that all the luck o'the Irish be with ye. Go n-eírí an bóthar leat.
May the road rise with you.



I have done a scary thing. I've submitted a novella to a publisher and I have a short story ready to go out to another. I'll keep you informed as to their progress as I find out anything.

I will be working on another of my WIPs... I have several to choose from :-) Actually, I've already been working on the one I started for NaNoWriMo. It's a time travel/ghost story (for lack of a better description) and I'm having a blast with it. I'm anxious, now that I've gotten into it, to find out what's going to happen next.

And... just because of the day, I leave you with this quiz and this taste of Irelend.




You're 55% Irish



You're very Irish, and most likely from Ireland.

(And if you're not, you should be!)





Saturday, March 15, 2008

Saturday Stumblings

I've been suffering from migraines the past few days. Does the weather affect anyone else like that? Whenever the pressure starts dropping, my head feels like it's going to explode. Am I just weird? (well...we KNOW I'm weird, but I mean in this instance).

My friend Jill awarded me with this wonderful award. Thanks, Jill!

I'd like to pass it along to Lianne, Marianne, Mary, Michele, and Margie. Thanks for being friends.

I also swiped this from Jill.




You Are a Total Brainiac



You're amazingly brilliant. Some would even say genius.

You're curious, thoughtful, analytical, and confident.



You take on difficult subjects because you want to... not because you have to.

No field of knowledge is too complicated or intimidating for you.



You've got the brains to do anything you want.

It's possible you end up doing everything you want.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Welcome to This Year's Ultimate Blog Party

Welcome to my party. I'm Judy. I'm a writer, an editor with a small press, and co-owner of The Long and the Short of It. (BTW... we are having a St. Patrick's contest you might want to check out...we're giving away $100 worth of gift certificates). chanel handbags

This year we are having a Latin-themed party. I have picked out my prettiest party dress.



And, I have a very special guest with us. Liam Neeson. Everyone tell Liam hello.



And, join us as we dance. Don't you just love salsa?





Oh, my goodness... dancing definitely makes me thirsty. We have plenty of libations: Sangria, Margaritas, Frozen Virgin Margaritas, iced tea, and lemonade.






And.. we can't have drinks without munchies. How about some empanadas, quesadillas, and don't forget the tortilla chips and salsa ;-)





And, grab some fresh fruit and cheese before you go off to the next stop on your party.




I'm so glad you came by and I'm looking to see you at your party.

Thursday, March 13, 2008

St. Patrick's Day Contest (Sticky Note)

This is a sticky note and will remain on top until the end of our contest. Please scroll down for newer entries.

The Long and the Short of It has traveled to the end of the rainbow and come back with a "pot of gold" for you…and for a reader, what could be the best gold but FREE books? And, even better, free books you get to choose yourself.

We are giving away free gift certificates/free books graciously donated by some very exciting ePublishers and eBook sites.

To enter, all you have to do is blog about this contest, or include our contest banner (see my sidebar for one and see our contest site for another) on your site, and then sign the Mr. Linky telling us where to find it. Please include the links to the wonderful sites listed below, without whom we would not be able to have this contest.

One (1) Grand Prize! ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣ ♣

*All Romance Ebooks donated - One Free Download
*Black Lyon Ebooks donated - One Free Download

*Linden Bay Romance donated - One Free Download

*Tease Publishing donated - $10 worth of free books

*The Wild Rose Press donated - Two (2) $5 Gift Certificates

*Writer's Exchange donated - $10 Gift Certificate

*The Long and the Short of It donated - a $10 Gift Certificate from Amazon.

Two (2) Second Place Prizes

Donated by The Long and the Short of It:

$5 Gift Certificate from Amazon.com

$5 Gift Certificate from Samhain Publishing

$5 Gift Certificate from Fictionwise

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Chords for a Cause

Mark your calendars (especially if you live in North Carolina or close by). April 18, 2008 there is going to be a benefit concert at Lincoln Theater.

On the list to perform are:
Nathan Asher and the Infantry

Richard Bacchus and the Luckiest Girls

johnnydirtyshoes

Phoebe's Carousel

Labeling Deloris


All donations will go for Doctors Without Borders. You can check out the donation page here. You can find out more about the group spearheading this benefit by going to their MySpace Page.

Doctors Without Borders is a wonderful organization and I'm very proud of this group for getting together and dedicating their time and talents to create ways to help other people.

Chords for a Cause is a local, (Raleigh, NC), not for profit, volunteer organization, founded entirely by Triangle residents. Our mission statement: To use music and the arts to raise awareness of and gather financial support for people who are suffering.

We want to empower those most in need by helping to maintain basic human rights including food, shelter, and medical care. We select charitable recipient groups that have received the highest possible international ratings for effectiveness and legitimacy. All money goes directly to the group selected.

Our current focus is specifically on the human rights crisis in Sudan. Committed volunteers at a grassroots level will join with local businesses and national corporations to sponsor a benefit concert featuring local performing artists to support Doctors Without Borders.


Please help support this group in their efforts.

Thursday, March 06, 2008

Friday's Feast


Click on the picture to play.


I just happened to click over to Friday's Feast and it's already up. Heck, yeah! I'm going to jump on the bandwagon early. Don't forget to check out LASR's St. Patrick's Day Contest and the Ultimate Blog Party (I don't have the link to that, because it's not supposed to be up yet). I'll add it in the morning.

And, I don't suppose this is ACTUALLY supposed to be up yet either.. but to paraphrase the old saying... it's Friday somewhere.

Anyway, welcome to the new edition of Friday's Feast.

Appetizer

If you could be any current celebrity for one whole week, who would you want to be? Hmmmm... can I have their minds and memories and keep them after the week? If so...I want to be The Nora (Roberts) and write like she does... from now on :-). Well...without the headhopping.. just with the pay checks ;-)

Soup

On a scale of 1-10 (with 10 being highest), how much do you enjoy talking on the phone? I guess a six or seven. If I'm talking to the kids... eight to ten (depending on how tired I am). I don't mind it... I don't love it either. It's like driving. It's something that needs done. chanel handbags

Salad

Name a charitable organization to which you have donated (or would like to). St. Jude Children's Research Hospital. I've donated to them for years. I've had several friends who had relatives St. Jude has helped. I also donate to Shriner's Hospitals. Both of these institutions do wonderful jobs helping kids...and kids are near and dear to my heart.

Main Course

What is a food you like so much you could eat it every single day for a month? Well.. chocolate of course. What do you mean you don't mean chocolate! Well.. I guess pizza then. Actually...chocolate and pizza every day for a month? Sounds good to me. :-)

Dessert

Have you or anyone in your family had the flu this year? No, knock on wood!

Monday, March 03, 2008

Monday Morning Meme


Click on the picture to play


March 3rd Questions:

1. If you could go back in time, what one piece advice would you give yourself? What is ONE thing you would change in your life? Think about a loved one, what ONE thing would you change in his/her life?
I would tell myself to scrape together money and buy property on the Gulf Coast... in Apalachicola. Then I would tell myself to tie it up so my heirs could not sell it. :-) Seriously, as far as changing anything in my life...I don't know that I would. I like who I am now and every experience, good and bad, goes into making me me. If there were anything, it would be to get serious about my writing a lot sooner. My loved one...I would wish the same. We've talked about it, because we both came through bad marriages. And, there are times we will think: what if? What if we had met years ago? And, we've determined we were different people then and we met when we needed to meet.

2. Stretch your right arm out as far as you can. What do you touch first? Now describe the space you’re in right now (be specific - colors, shapes, textures, etc. Why yes, this IS an exercise in descriptive writing. *grin*) What is your favorite thing in your space right now? Why? I touch the bookshelf my husband made for me. He took heavy wood, built it with loving hands to the dimensions I requested...one tall shelf on the bottom for my notebooks and cookbooks. We painted it black, because the ironwork in our den is black. It's a black shiny enamel that wouldn't be out of place in a room with Chinese furnishings...almost a lacquer. Books fill the shelves...books to be given away on LASR and the autographed books on my keeper shelf. The top shelf holds my books on the craft of writing.

The favorite thing in my space right now....my new laptop.

3. Name your three favorite magazines or the last three you have purchased. What do you like the most about these magazines? The least? If you haven’t bought any magazines lately, why not? "Better Homes and Garden" just came in the mail and I haven't had the chance to open this month's issue. I like it because it inspires me to do more with our own home. I just purchased the newest issue of "Woman's World." I am still determined to sell them something for their romantic short story. "Florida Sportsman"...and I bought it for my husband :-)

4. What is your creative outlet or what creative longing do you wish you could fulfill (money and time is not an issue). Who is the most creative person you know? What do you admire the most about this person? How is this person creative? Hmmm... well, I'm a writer, so that's a given. A creative longing I wish I could fulfill, though, is musical. I love to sing (I'm not a great singer... I told someone once I make a good choir member). But, I would love to play an instrument. I took piano lessons for one semester while I was at college and wish I had had the ability to continue that once I left. And..it's not too late. The most creative person? It would have to be my mom when we were growing up. She had the ability to make things fun for us.. so much so we didn't realize how little money we had.
~~~~

Did you see the sticky note above? Have you blogged about the contest yet? If not.. why not? Go on... just think of all the good reads you can get.
~~~~~




You Are a Good Girl!



You're into fun - but it has to be your own brand of fun

Drinking? No thanks. You rather spend your time differently...

Whether it's talking with friends, taking up a hobby, or reading

You're not the type to socialize just for socializing's sake!


~~~~~
ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY

March 3, 1911: Jean Harlow is born